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If You Can’t Get it Right...

AngryputerblogI have an exceptionally low tolerance for bad customer service. But, my ire is rarely directed at the the reason behind most bad customer service can be found in bad management (and, sometimes, that emanates from the mothership).

I'm also not one to reward bad management with future purchases. I haven't stepped foot in a Sears store in over a decade. I've slowly let Target back into my good graces (but never again the westside store). Office Depot is the new entrant to the list of stores that won't see my shadow (or my credit card).

But, am I being too harsh? After struggling with a buggy Targus presenter remote (a replacement for my go-to presenter that no longer has an antenna dongle), I decided to try the new Logitech Spotlight. I popped into the local Depot and picked one up. It wouldn't take a charge. We returned said brick, only to be told that they had no more in stock (despite five "display" boxes on the rack). Thanks for nothing.

On the road a few days later, I try Office Depot's vaunted BOPUS (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store). I wait the promised hour, hear nothing back and go to the store anyway because I need to pick up a few other things. There were two others, waiting at the counter, expecting to pick up their orders. None of the three had yet been pulled (and one guy had ordered the day before). After 15 minutes, I was given the news that they couldn't find my item anywhere in stock.

To his credit, the clerk called a store 10 minutes away to see if they had one and asked them to reserve the last one on their shelf. You know where this ends, right? The other store didn't have it either. So, I ordered one from Amazon for $30 off list with free shipping...arriving on Sunday.

So, imagine my chuckle today when I see an article in eMarketer Retail entitled "BOPUS Remains a Challenge for Many Retailers." Apparently half of American retailers offer BOPUS. Three quarters say they are having trouble implementing the service.

So, one must ask a fairly simple question: If you can't get it right (remember attempting to order pizza online in the late '90s?), why are you pissing off your customers? I'm sure I'm not the only one who crosses retailers off for this most basic of all fails.

But, I'm in a fairly good mood today. Maybe I should cut Office Depot some slack because almost nobody is getting BOPUS right.

Nah...because, if you can't do what you promise, you should stop until you can.


Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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